When Jordan Walters got to middle school he was appointed a point guard by coaches as he was the strongest player on the game.
The gangly kid was transferred up to the junior varsity before he got to high school, where he played point guard with that team. He was so meek and gentle, he figured we were nuts to push him up (to junior varsity),” said Mark Rinehart, basketball coach for Harrison boys.
Walters was transferred up again a year later, this time to the Raider varsity roster, and all those skills he established as a point guard seemed pointless. The season the 6-foot-7 Walters had never played outside the ground. Yet the long-term payoff was shown this winter, the senior season for Walters, he and the coaching team.
Walters could facilitate the offense. Grab the defensive rebound and go became an unscripted improvisation of the Harrison offense because the Raiders had a player who could implement it.
Many times the defense was at Walters’ mercy with his ability to drive and the strength and leaping ability to throw down thunderous dunks that shamed opposing players under the basket.
His rapid rise, averaging 20.5 points, 9.4 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.0 steals, and 1.7 blocks, led Harrison to its best season in two decades and earned Walters the Journal & Courier’s Big School Player of the Year honor.
In middle school, along with being a point guard, he played football and baseball. He was a member of Harrison’s state championship soccer team as a sophomore. He would give all of that up to focus on basketball.
“Every summer, I tried to pick on one thing to work on a lot,” Walters said. “After my sophomore year I knew I had a chance to be pretty good and I wanted to keep getting better. I love the game and played it every day.
Walters took his time before choosing Lincoln Memorial, an NCAA Division II powerhouse located in Harrogate, Tennessee. Walters will credit exceptional coaching.
Coaches will credit Walters’ commitment, doing drills alone and the summer before his senior year being in the gym every day with his team because they were upset that Lafayette Jeff had embarrassed them by 30 points in the sectional the previous winter.
Walters had 21 points and 15 rebounds and the Raiders shocked one of the top-ranked teams in Class 4A just one year after being humiliated.
Before that, following a second loss to Lafayette Jeff in a week, Walters lifted Harrison to a 10-game winning streak. At one point he had at least 20 points 14 times in a 15-game stretch. The other game, he scored 18 on 8 of 13 shooting to beat Muncie Central.